I finally threw back the curtains this morning (yes I’m 14 hours ahead of Toronto) at 5:50am to find a dreary, wet, misty, wet, cloudy, wet morning. A perfect day for a long slow run.
I should note here that I’ve stopped jogging. Jogging in my mind is the flat footed pursuit of running – noisily slapping your feet on the pavement, half-assed flailing your arms back and forth, incoherent breathing and stopping every ten minutes to rest for a minute. Now, I run. It may be a slow run, but it is movement with purpose. Running is your feet hitting the ground on the balls of your feet, knees high, arms pumping, rhythmic breathing, a full body movement.
I don’t know if you realize this, but Japan is a mountainous country, so there are no long strides. Even on a gentle incline here (6% gradient) my calves start to cry out.
The route that I chose today was based on time, not on distance. I pick a direction, run until I get lost, then try to make my way back. Everything was going nicely until I realized that I had been running for 30 minutes downhill on a winding road. Knowing that I did not want to go back up the way that I had come down, I opted for a continous route of right turns. I finally came to a T juntion, turn right. Slow run up a steep incline, then a long run along a flat part (pausing to take a panoramic video of Sendai), then hitting another T junction. Pausing at the lights, I looked to my left (sweet sweet downhill) and then looking at a 12% incline up the hill. I smiled and started the rhythmic run up the hill. Panting hard 30 minutes later I reached the top to find the Log Restaurant (for sale) that had an amazing view of the city, then I started the slow run down the hill at a gentle 6% gradient. I finally hit a road that I recognized, found the giant daikanon statue and ran home at a decent pace. It was the best 90 minute run that I’ve had since I’ve been here.
Now I’m going to sleep.
Oh the music part. For the first time in years I started singing in the shower. Turns out I missed doing that.